Contrary to popular belief, maternal depression is not the worst during the first year of motherhood. When the infant is born until the first birthday, postpartum depression may show severity during this time, but it is not the worst time for mothers.
A new study finds that out of 2,200 samples of mothers with children ranging from infants to adults, the most depressed are the ones taking care of middle schoolers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in eight women are depressed. The new study highlights the duration of how long mothers could go feeling depressed and to what point in their lives they are most afflicted with it.
The study further concludes that the onset of puberty, around the time the child turns 10 and proceed into middle school, is the most difficult for mothers.
The point of motherhood where the symptoms of maternal depression come out as more obvious and pronounced. In this stage, they feel the most unhappy, detached, and lonely, Romper says. The years of adolescence, the stage following puberty, intensifies feelings of depression as they feel the least satisfied with their mothering roles.
Furthermore the study points out that mothers of middle schoolers, compared to new mothers of infants, experience extremely low levels of happiness and feel the most stressed out.
A parenting expert explains that during this time, a lot of monumental changes occur to both mother and child. The hormones that surge within the child to prepare for adolescence causes the child to seek independence from the parent which in turn leaves the parent unprepared and helpless.
In order to overcome the problem, communication is key. As reported earlier, parents play significant roles in the way children react to frustrating situations.
The mother must take steps to have an open communication system with the child to encourage attachment and to express feelings of insecurities. Also, new rules for boundaries must be set in order to establish control of the situation.
According to NPR, it is interesting to note that the study also finds that mothers of teenagers are happier and more satisfied. This means that maternal depression during the middle school stage of the child eventually dissipates and lessens as the child grows into a teenager.